All Japan: The 1998 Suzuki RGV500 XR88

Words and photographs: Phil Aynsley

This month in our Iconic Metal series it’s the turn of the factory Suzuki XR88 to fall under Phil Aynsley’s lens.

This was the motorcycle campaigned by both Nobuatsu Aoki and Yukio Kagayama.

Aoki used this bike for the final three races of the 1998 season, scoring 11th, 6th and 12th places. He finished the season in 9th overall.

Aoki took it out on GP500 world duty (note how the colour scheme, still very much official Suzuki, was quite a bit different to the double-swoosh other Suzukis on the grid had at the time) whilst Kagayama rode the bike in the All Japan Championship.

These photos are of the bike in Nobuatso-mode (hence the N1 sticker on the frame) but in reality there was very little changed with the bike from one rider to the next.

The ring-ding noise comes out here.

Either way, the thing to bear in mind is that this is a particularly exquisite example of the RGV500 factory Suzuki two-stroke.

Read more and view more images in the July/August 2019 issue of CR – on sale now!

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